G7 energy ministers have failed to agree on a statement supporting the Paris climate accord after the US delegation said it was reviewing its position.
Vigya Sharma travelled to the state of Odisha, on India’s east, to get some insights on the linkages between energy access, rural poverty and climate change adaptation. In this post, she summarises her findings. How does Odisha’s government currently identify and establish links between natural disasters and rural poverty? And what role, if at all, may the current policy environment consider of energy poverty in further accentuating these linkages?
The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel opened the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogues 2017 at the Federal Foreign Office, where close to 1,000 participants from 90 countries gathered to exchange on finding affordable alternatives to coal and gas. In his keynote, Foreign Minister Gabriel stressed the conflict dimension of climate change and energy security, and urged the international community to join forces in shaping the global Energiewende.
G7 leaders endorsed the African Risk Capacity (ARC) as a model for climate insurance. The organisation works with countries to improve their preparedness for extreme weather events and disasters.
EcoPeace Middle East is an organization that seeks to create lasting peace though environmental cooperation and protection of shared natural resources. The Jordanian project coordinator, Mohammad Bundokji, explains the innovative approach to peacebuilding that consists in generating positive mutual dependencies for water and energy.
In the Middle East, the consequences of climate change are already a reality of life. The region is one of the most water-stressed areas in the world, the average temperature is rising faster than elsewhere, and a massive reduction in rainfall is also expected for the coming years. Adding to the conflicts and quarrels – ranging from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to Syria and Iraq as well as to rivalries between Iran and the Gulf states – access to and use of natural resources act as yet another crisis amplifier in the region: water is as important here as land ownership and as precious as access to oil.
At first glance, the outlook for climate policy in 2017 does not look too promising: Donald Trump has become the president of the US and presented an energy plan that does not even mention climate change but is based on shale gas and coal. In addition, Europe’s often claimed leadership in climate policy is in jeopardy, with Brexit and the potential outcome of elections in the Netherlands and France, where populism and EU scepticism is on the rise.
However, on reflection, this year could be a good starting point for the achievement of new milestones in climate protection. Part and parcel of this less pessimistic outlook are the aims of the G20 and its German presidency. Under the leadership of Angela Merkel there is a good chance for a push towards carbon pricing. This would allow the world to pursue a growth path that protects the environment at the same time as lifting people out of poverty.
The G20 is at a crossroads. Since its inception, the exclusive group has had the chief objective of avoiding a new financial crisis. But a looming crisis of a different nature could now threaten international stability just as much: climate change, a risk factor deeply intertwined with other hazards such as slow growth and rising inequality.